Vatican praise for retiring Archbishop of Canterbury
The Holy See quickly expressed its gratitude for Archbishop George Carey's efforts at ecumenism over the years following this week's announcement of his retirement in October.
In a statement published on Tuesday, the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity refers to the archbishop's commitment to promote and further relations between Anglicans and Catholics.
"Archbishop Carey visited the Holy Father on several occasions over his 10 years as archbishop of Canterbury, indeed, more than any of his predecessors," the statement notes.
"The image of him kneeling with an Orthodox leader alongside the Holy Father as they together opened the holy door at St. Paul Outside the Walls to begin the Jubilee Year is firmly planted on our memories," the statement continues.
"Archbishop George Carey and I are good friends and I have appreciated very much our collaboration in ecumenical endeavours," he said. "Dr Carey has had to live through some difficult times as archbishop of Canterbury."
Dr Carey, 66, was appointed bishop of Canterbury by Margaret Thatcher in 1991. The procedure for succession to the office of primate of the Church of England requires that a commission of the British Crown and the Prime Minister begin a series of consultations on the candidates.
Archbishop of Canterbury to Retire (Anglican Communion News Service)
Archbishop of Canterbury (personal website)